X-Mystique Quick Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 512 Old 02-18-2005, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I got my X-Mystique card in today. The manual was in Korean, but I didn't need it. Installed the card in my htpc, cancelled out of WinXP installer and ran the included CD.

After a quick reboot, I configured it for DD5.1 encoding (one button to press to accomplish this). The program runs in your systray, so it's easy to get to. It allows you to choose DD5.1 encoding, 48khz, 44.1khz, and 96khz PCM out.

I disabled AC3Filter and played a couple of WMV-HD files in WMP, TT2.0, and MPC. Everytime I got glorious DD5.1. I also checked Task Manager to see if any other programs were taking up CPU cycles during playback, and nothing else was, so I'm assuming this is true hardware encoding.

Next I fired up HL2 and set it to 5.1 speaker setup. It worked. I intentionally knocked things over to see if it was encoding to the rears correctly, and it was.

I then played a couple of dvds in TT2.0 with both DD5.1 and DTS tracks, the card passed-through the data fine.

The only thing it failed to do was play a DTS-CD (just got static), in WMP and MPC. I even tried setting it to 44.1khz PCM and still got static. With my replaced Audigy2 NX, I could only get a DTS-CD to play fine with the software that came with it, so maybe there could be software written for this card to allow it also.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. Also, they shipped this from Korea on Monday and it actually got here yesterday, I just wasn't around to sign for it. (4 days from Korea to the U.S. is pretty good, IMO).

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #2 of 512 Old 02-18-2005, 05:30 PM
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Awesome Taz!

What kind of CPU overhead are you getting? Did it slow down HL2 and have you tried it with EAX?
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post #3 of 512 Old 02-18-2005, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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CPU-wise seems exactly the same, no stuttering at 1776x1000 4AA 8AF (though I'm running a X800 XT PE). I didn't notice if I had EAX on or not, I'll be sure to double-check it....

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #4 of 512 Old 02-18-2005, 05:37 PM
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Sounds good, I was afraid it would cause substantial overhead making games laggy.

One more, Does their software allow you to adjust the surround sound like the AC3Filter does and does it upconvert 2 channel to 5.1 like the AC3filter?
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post #5 of 512 Old 02-18-2005, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, tried out a couple of different games.

Hl2 passed the test, true DD5.1 w/correct speaker placement
Doom 3 passed as well.
Far Cry will only pass stereo, no matter what settings I choose. Restarted the game about 10 times with different settings, only stereo even though DD5.1 is lighting up on my receiver.

I don't think it is using EAX2.0 correctly, which is why Far Cry is giving me problems (HL2 and Doom 3 don't use EAX at all, I believe). Hopefully this will get fixed in a driver update.

Stepping away from gaming, it does allow you to adjust surround sound and it does upconvert 2 channel to 5.1 (even lets you pick the speaker placement).

ASIO support is coming soon (according to C-media's website).

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #6 of 512 Old 02-18-2005, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by taz291819
Ok, tried out a couple of different games.

ASIO support is coming soon (according to C-media's website).
Regarding ASIO: Until this is officially supported you could try ASIO4ALL which emulates ASIO using kernal streaming and can be found at http://www.asio4all.com/

Thanks for the info. Having moved from an NForce2 board to an NForce4 I am very interested in this card.
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post #7 of 512 Old 02-18-2005, 09:05 PM
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How does it sound compared to an audigy 2 if you have one? I would assume bass sounds better since it sucks with audigy and analog.
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post #8 of 512 Old 02-18-2005, 11:58 PM
 
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regarding ASIO4ALL - it will only do us any good in this application if the card is not harware resampling to 48khz (as every C-media card i have ever seen does).
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post #9 of 512 Old 02-19-2005, 12:00 AM
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did cables come with the card? just wondering as I see them in the pictures on ebay.

Take care,
Seth

AMD 5000+BE @2.6GHZ 2GB ram, 820GB storage
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post #10 of 512 Old 02-19-2005, 12:26 AM
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Thanks for the review taz :D .

--- this card is being added to my want list ;) .

----- Jason

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post #11 of 512 Old 02-19-2005, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrcorbo
Regarding ASIO: Until this is officially supported you could try ASIO4ALL which emulates ASIO using kernal streaming and can be found at http://www.asio4all.com/
I have ASIO2KS installed on my htpc, but I've never figured out how to use it.

Quote:
How does it sound compared to an audigy 2 if you have one? I would assume bass sounds better since it sucks with audigy and analog.
Sounds great, the first thing I noticed was how it sounded better than my Audigy2 NX.

Quote:
regarding ASIO4ALL - it will only do us any good in this application if the card is not harware resampling to 48khz (as every C-media card i have ever seen does).
I know for a fact it allows you to select 44.1, 48, or 96khz output.

Quote:
did cables come with the card? just wondering as I see them in the pictures on ebay.
It came with an internal cable (for modem to soundcard) and a pretty long Toslink cable, which unfortunately I use coax, so the cable is still in the box.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #12 of 512 Old 02-19-2005, 07:52 AM
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Taz,
please let us know what games you have it working fine with and witch ones you have problems with
Thanks
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post #13 of 512 Old 02-19-2005, 08:18 AM
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This sounds great. I was able to pick one up off of ebay for less than 80 dollars total shipped.

Cannot wait for it to arrive, and when I receive and install it, I'll add any thoughts. Thanks for the quick review, as it has made me want the card even more now. :)
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post #14 of 512 Old 02-21-2005, 08:51 PM
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Don't let this thread die. Guys who got this card, please share your experiences. If there are no major issues with this card, finally there is an upgrade path to Athlon64 for nForce2 owners like me.
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post #15 of 512 Old 02-21-2005, 10:56 PM
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The ebay auctions are going lower and lower ($$) so the card should be close to a US release [ I hope ] .
--- If anybody gets information on a US retailer please let us know .

--- Thanks ,
---- Jason

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post #16 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 06:10 AM
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If EAX does not work I wonder if there is a way to chain a Audigy 2 ZS or Audigy4 to this card. Then you could get EAX 4 in DD 5.1 output for games like FarCry, and make using of the Audigy's other features.
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post #17 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Personally I think it's a driver issue. I don't think EAX 2.0 is being implemented properly on the X-Mystique side. I've sent an email to them about it.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #18 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 10:22 AM
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It was sitting at home on the doorstep when I stopped at home on lunch break, so I will be installing it this evening. Not too bad, paid for it on Thursday and it's in the Midwest USA from Korea on Tuesday.

Global shipping is amazing these days.

If anyone is interested I can post some impressions when I am finished.
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post #19 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 10:52 AM
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Please do...also if anyone can give a relative idea of CPU utilization or frame rate impact of the dolby digital encoding...

Ozy
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post #20 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Just talked to someone over on the Far Cry forums, and now I feel like an idiot. He asked if I set my speaker settings in Control Panel to 5.1, which I wasn't sure, so I VNC'ed from work to take a look. It was set to 2-channel stereo.

As soon as I get off from work, I'll fire up Far Cry again to see if that fixes it.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #21 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 12:51 PM
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If you believe you got correct DD5.1 encoding from the WMA5.1 of the WMV-HD, then you MUST have the Windows speaker config in 5.1. Is it not?

regards,

Li On
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post #22 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 01:15 PM
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I bought one yesterday from e-bay etc.
I paid straight away, and was pleased to see it was sent an hour later!:eek:
They emailed me a tracking number, so i can follow it's progress.

Must say that this service is amazing, and shames most UK based e-tailers.

I, like a lot on this thread, was awaiting the release of the Nforce 4 motherboard with Soundstorm2.
Since Nvidia didn't feel the market was there (WRONG!!!), i only hope HiTech makes a killing with this sound card.

I ordered one after fitting a Asus P5GD1-VM motherboard.
The Asus website states it is a "Dolby Digital Live" enabled board.
However, it does NOT do Dolby Digital Live Encoding. :(
I was going to return it, but don't need to now. :)

This card brings the freedom to finally pick the CPU and motherboard of choice........I can't wait!:cool:

I can resist everything....except temptation
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post #23 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 01:33 PM
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How are the analog outs on this thing? Just curious. Also, since I want to make sure I understand, can you differentiate how streams are handled? For instance, I send almost everything digital to my Denon 3805. Obviously I can't with WMA stuff, which is what seems to be the market for this card. Can it be set so that it's only going to touch the WMA streams and reecode them, while leaving everything else in AC3?

Also, what's the deal with the little extension card?

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #24 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 01:34 PM
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Taz any luck with the ASIO4All yet?

I was thinking that playing a CD for instance using ASIO then outputting 24/96 DD to a receiver might give you better sound because it would be digital thus using a better quality DAC on the receiver.

I am more curious about upping a 2 channel CD using ASIO to DD 5.1. You said that the settings for 5.1 on the card are adjustable in the software like the AC3Filter so it can be tweaked. I know it won't be multi channel SACD quality but I bet properly tweaked it would sound pretty damn good.

I have been trying to get one my self but keep getting out bid at the last second.:mad:
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post #25 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 01:45 PM
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hehe , well one of our own mods here at AVS (madpoet) just out bid me on an X-mystique that I had just bid on (no more than a couple minutes before he placed his bid :D ).

--- I am awaiting a US distributor [ just to see where the price ends up ] . Having 5.1 for games is just not worth an extra $100 to me right now [ after ebay+shipping ] . Here is to hoping NewEgg gets it ;) .

--- Best of Luck to those of you bidding on these [ sounds like a killer card :D ] .

-------- Jason

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post #26 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 01:56 PM
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Doh, sorry Jason. Didn't know that was you ;)

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #27 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by madpoet
Doh, sorry Jason. Didn't know that was you ;)
--- No problem as I am sure it will go higher than I wish to spend on it right now [ I just bid because you never know when one might slip through ;) ] .

--------- Jason

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post #28 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by madpoet

Also, what's the deal with the little extension card?
It appears you have to purchase it separately and it gives you two 44.1kHz / 48kHz / 96kHz S/PDIF Inputs via optical or coax.

What I am not sure is exactly what this feature is or does, or means:

Quote:
7. Adopt large capacity regulators and 6pcs of DUAL DIP TYPE OPAMP. Over 2.5Vrms full scale 7.1ch outputs
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post #29 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 02:16 PM
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This sounds like a great card. I've been looking for a card for my HTPC and I might have to get one. I was just waiting on someone to give a review of it.
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post #30 of 512 Old 02-22-2005, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaGamePimp
on Having 5.1 for games is just not worth an extra $100 to me right now [ after ebay+shipping ] . Here is to hoping NewEgg gets it ;) .
-------- Jason
If I can just do DD 5.1 from my Fusion HDTV card while watching analog cable or OTA it would be way worth it to me, DD games will be icing on the cake and if I can get my RME Digi''s analog out to play through it so I can out put it's ASIO to DD it would even be better.
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